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Zooming In

18th March 2021

Zambriskie Point is of my favorite areas to visit in Death Valley. I am awed by its magnificent landscape created by millions of years of erosion. When climb the steep path from the visitor entrance, you’re immediately greeted by the heavily textured, sandy colored alluvial fans.

This day as I walked up the path I could barely see two people standing on one of the flat areas in the distance. They looked like ants on the rocks. The juxtaposition of the tiny figures against the huge backdrop of these badlands was an interesting view.


My equipment was a Sony NEX-7 camera with a medium 18-200mm zoom lens.

This is the image that I captured of the couple.

The EXIF data tells me that the lens was zoomed to 44mm.


The above photo was the only one that I took of the couple.

When I viewed the image in my “computer darkroom”, I wanted to see how the scene would look if I had used the zoom feature of the lens. I magically zoomed by cropping the original image.

The result is that the the couple and the rocky landscape show up in much more detail.

Which one do you preferr?

While I like both images, I prefer the zoomed in version. This is an example of composing your image after the fact.

Composition Tip # 1

30th September 2010

Creative framing is one of the secrets to taking top notch photos.


Often, the photographer feels compelled to frame the entire subject. But you may find it equally interesting to be more selective about how much of the subject to include in the viewfinder. Suggestion: Move Closer I call this zooming with my feet.

Here we’ve included most of the wooden sculpture. You can see that the background is slightly distracting.

By moving closer to the sculpture, we have paid special attention to the face and also eliminated the background.

The large number of balloons make for a very colorful scene. However, the balloons don’t stand out very well because of the building in the background.

For this shot, we concentrated on a single balloon. By moving closer to the balloon, we are able to isolate its bright color against the blue sky.
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Kids Tip #2

09th March 2009

Taking pictures of kids is one of the most popular uses for digital cameras. From time to time, we’ll present tips for taking better kids pictures.

Move in Close
Many times, when you first see a “picture moment”, you’re tempted to take the picture quickly so as not to disturb the subject.

The result is often a “microscopic” picture of your subject similar to the snapshot above. The size of the toddler is so small as to make it difficult to pick out her face.

By moving in closer, we’re able to see much more detail of the same toddler. It takes only a few steps to “enlarge” the photo. I call this zooming with my feet.

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